Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Paul Krepps, MEDC
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced $225,630 in Community Development Block Grant funding to support a major downtown redevelopment project in the southern Michigan community of Morenci. The grant, made available through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), will fund the improvements needed to extend a street and construct a parking lot to attract additional investment and jobs to the downtown.
"This is a great development that will help increase job creation potential in downtown Morenci," Granholm said. "Sufficient parking and accessible, well maintained streets are essential if we are to attract people to live and work in our downtowns."
In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced a focused seven-point plan for economic growth. So far this year, the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of approximately 23,598 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
The city will contribute an additional $83,000 toward the project, which will include the relocation of utilities to service the extension of Locust Street, improvements to Mill Street and the construction of a public parking lot.
"This funding is a wonderful opportunity for our community," said City Administrator Renee Schroeder. "Mayor Sutherland and the city council have worked diligently to make this area more accessible to the public. We look forward to our continued relationship with the MEDC as our ongoing downtown development plans move forward."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation administers the state's Community Development Block Grant funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are used to provide grants to eligible counties, cities, villages and townships-typically those with populations less than 50,000-for economic development, community development and housing projects. Larger communities receive block grant funds directly from the federal government.
The MEDC is able to award up to approximately $50 million in federal CDBG funds each year. There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for these funds. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
"The economic success of our downtowns is the cornerstone of the economic success of the entire state," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "Infrastructure is a major expense for many communities. This grant will help Morenci fill the cost gap and move these important projects forward."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.